E-Book - Gift Basket Junction

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          Table of Contents
The History of Gift Wrapping……..……4
Wrapping Tips from the Pros………...…5
Bonus Tips…………………………18
Gift-Wrapping Emporium....………19
The Card: Inside or Out……………21
Gift-Wrapping How-To Photos and Videos…24
Wrapped Gifts That Give Back…….28

                            Photo by Gabriela Delworth
We all love the excitement of opening a beautifully wrapped present!
Some of us unwrap our gifts slowly, taking care not to damage the beautiful paper so we
can use it again. Others tear into their gifts like a monkey on a cupcake. Either way, the
gift-wrapping has done its job.

It’s job? Absolutely! My colleague Karen Sullen, our own gift-
wrap guru, says gift-wrapping builds anticipation and
conceals a surprise. After it’s opened, the gift has to stand on
its own merit. Maybe you’ll love it. Maybe, uh, not so much.
If you’re not thrilled with the gift, you can’t blame the

There are a few options for wrapping gifts: 1) Most retail
stores have a gift-wrapping department, which typically
charges a small fee unless the gift you purchased there is
more than a certain amount. 2) Ask someone you know has a knack for wrapping gifts
to do it. 3) Wrap it yourself.

This e-guide is dedicated to those of you who wrap gifts yourself and those who want to
learn. Once you’ve discovered the creativity, enjoyment and satisfaction that accompany
wrapping gifts for family and friends, you’ll never turn to a retail store gift-wrap
department again. In a way, it’s ―value added,‖ a personal touch that lets the recipients
know how much they mean to you. You can tap into your imagination and know that,
no matter how it turns out, your audience will love it.
                      The History of Gift Wrapping
                                 Holiday gift-giving is an ancient practice. The Romans
                                 would exchange gifts during festivals like Saturnalia, the
                                 winter solstice and the Roman New Year. The gifts of the
                                 Three Wise Men inspired the tradition of gift-giving for
                                 Christmas, which was discouraged by the Church, but by
                                 the Middle Ages, it had become a holiday tradition.

                                  The first gift wrap was tissue paper
or sturdy brown paper. In the 1800’s, people began to get creative
with gifts presented in decorated cornucopias or paper baskets. It
wasn’t until the very late 19th century, when the technology for mass-
producing a decorated, foldable paper was developed, printing
presses were capable of printing with colored ink, and a rotary
system was created for rolling the printed paper onto cardboard rolls and cutting it into
smaller sheets that our concept of wrapping paper was introduced. By the turn of the
century, gift wrapping was an American mainstay.

Eli Hyman and Morris Silverman established Hy-Sill Manufacturing Inc., the first
American gift wrap company, in 1903. Gift-wrapping giant Hallmark entered the market
in 1917, quite by accident. Already well-known
for their greeting cards, the Hall brothers had
been offering red, green and white tissue paper
at their store in Kansas City, MO, and they sold
out just before Christmas. The entrepreneurial
owner, Rollie Hall, had sheets of decorative
envelope liners shipped to the store from a
manufacturing plant. Placed on top of a
showcase and sold for 10 cents each, the
decorative paper flew out of the store. He sold
the sheets at three for twenty-five cents the next
year and, again, they quickly disappeared. The
brothers began producing their own Christmas
wrapping paper, and the rest, as they say, is history.

More gift wrap trivia—scotch tape wasn’t invented until 1930, and it wasn’t until 1932
that rolls of adhesive tape were sold in dispensers with cutter blades. So what held the
wrap together before these developments? String and sealing wax! A few gift-wrapping
supplies like small gift tags and sticky decorative ribbon came along in the 20’s and 30’s.

Of course, the look of wrapping paper has changed over the decades, too, from the
original, ornate Victorian designs to stylized Art Deco in the 30’s and 40’s, to wrapping
paper the plethora of designs that often make it hard to choose. The 80’s saw the
introduction of decorative plastic and paper gift bags, stick-on bows and cascade ribbons.
And now, we’ll take a look at how far the art of wrapping gifts has evolved, with lots of
helpful tips from gift-wrap experts from across the country.

     Our thanks to Mac Carey and for this interesting info!

                       Wrapping Tips from the Pros
With a world of gift-wrapping ideas out there, we thought we’d bring you not just one
expert, but a bevy of experts from across the country to share their gift for gift-wrapping
with you. Let’s start by meeting our eight esteemed experts:

Deb Condo, Gift Basket Junction

Deb Condo is the owner of Gift Basket Junction and Gift Basket
Gourmet Express in Golden, Colorado. Her basket designs have won
numerous awards nationally, and they have been featured in many
magazines over the years. Gift Basket Junction was named among the
nation’s Top 100 Gift Basket Companies in 2007; and recently Gift
Basket Junction was named to the KMGH-TV A-List as one of the Top 5
Gift Shops in the Denver metro area.

Cynthia McKay Colorodo, Le Gourmet Gift Basket

Cynthia McKay began Le Gourmet Gift Basket, Inc. as a small home-based
business in Denver, Colorado in 1992. Since then, Le Gourmet Gift Basket,
Inc. has expanded under McKay's direction across several states. She has
built a partnership of professional gift basket companies throughout the
United States and Canada. With more than 400 participating companies,
Le Gourmet is able hand-deliver gifts to most areas.

Dana Schultz,

Dana Schultz is Trend Editor and PR Manager at She has
worked in buying and trend forecasting for almost 10 years. She is an
expert on matching the right gift to the right recipient. Dana also loves to
help make every occasion unique with handy tips and special touches.
Adventure travel, cooking and magazines keep her busy when she’s off
the clock.
Liz Mrofka, Fobbie

Liz is a graphic designer and the inventor of the Fobbie—Gift
Wrapping in a Cinch! The Fobbie® name comes from the word
fob, defined ―an ornament that hangs at the end of a ribbon.‖
which describes it perfectly. It was easy to turn it into the Fobbie®,
which gives it its own playful name and identity. Liz is an avid
Scrabble player, reader, hiker, graphic designer, who loves to
brainstorm ideas.

Laura Keating, All Wrapped Up 4 U

Laura is a professional gift wrapper in the Baltimore area. Her
specialty is making gift wrapping unique to the recipient as well
as the gift giver. She meets with clients individually and takes
the time to learn about both the gift giver and recipient. From
there she creates a custom wrap. Laura does acknowledge that
Christmas time is mostly general wraps, but if the order comes
in early enough, she will create a custom wrap which might
include the use of colored lights, or even a gift top with a
whole nativity scene set up on it. The bottom line is Laura
loves to let the creative juices flow!

Mira Emmerling, Rockhem & Chicstone

Mira is a luxury enthusiast, style connoisseur, avid traveler and
connector. Mira has been on the hunt and ravaging the world for the
finest since she was young, and she is the founder of Rockhem &
Chicstone, a company that offers highly specialized services and is
known as an exclusive style and pleasure provider, bringing luxurious
fashions, accessories, decor and luxury lifestyle services to clients

Karen Helburn, Just Hatched

Karen is the CEO of Just Hatched, a baby gift basket company in their
14th year of business, and she has wrapped just about everything...from
large hard goods to the tiniest baby item.
You’ve heard that great minds think alike and, as you’ll see, they’re true to the basics of
gift-wrapping, but they all have their own personal flair and vision when it comes to
wrapping ―outside the box!‖ We asked all our experts questions that we, as aspiring
creative gift wrappers, would want answered and received a generous gift in return—
incredible tips and ideas that should boost our wrapping skills—and yours!

Q. Let’s get right to the tough stuff. We’d love some tips on how to wrap those oddly
shaped gifts we can’t put in boxes. Are gift bags the only solution?

Dana: Sometimes a gift bag is a Godsend! But there
are alternates such as creating a gift basket full of many
odd-shaped gifts and then enclosing the whole package
in a cellophane bag. Another option is to use cloth.
You can generally buy yards of holiday themed fabric
for fairly low prices at the local fabric store. It won’t
rip and fabric tape works wonders. No sewing
Deb: Gift bags are not the only solution. Use colorful
pillowcases or small fleece blankets for small- to
medium-size gifts. Tie off with ribbon or tulle. Use mesh for wine/champagne bottles and
top it off with a beautiful bow. It’s a wonderful presentation, especially for the more
expensive bottles. Also, some oddly shaped gifts lend themselves well to uniquely shaped
gift baskets.
                                       Cynthia: The oddly shaped gifts and those items
                                       that simply won’t fit anywhere need some thought!
                                       I recently purchased a huge box of golf balls for a
                                       friend and could not easily think of a way to
                                       package these difficult and perpetually rolling little
                                       guys. I found an inexpensive bowl from a discount
                                       store and placed it on a coffee table book about
                                       golf. I put cellophane under both items, filled the
                                       bowl with the balls and added a nice bow with
                                       little golf tees hanging from it. It looked polished,
                                       unique and personally designed for her. Practice
                                       this technique as you don’t want your gift to look
                                       like a yard sale! Towering items is also a good idea.
                                       If you can produce a theme beginning with the
                                       biggest item on the bottom, the middle sized next
                                       with the smallest on top, you can wrap in
                                       cellophane or tulle.

                                     Liz: I think many of our gifts are beautiful just the
way they are. A teddy bear, a candle, a quilt, many items can be wrapped to accent their
good looks. How cute would a teddy bear look with a man's tie wrapped around its
neck and use a tie clip to attach the gift tag? I've wrapped a toolbox with one of my
Fobbie wrap tags and ribbon and then attached small screwdrivers and wrenches with
frilly pipe cleaners and stuffed shop rags underneath arranging them to be fluted. You
can really expand on a theme and make it fun to look at and unwrap since there are so
many goodies along the way!

Q. When is it better not to wrap a gift?

Laura: Many gifts come in beautiful packaging. For example, soaps, lotions, tins of
cookies. Wrapping a tin canister is not easy and can prove to be very frustrating!
Sometimes, a very pretty bow is all that is needed!

Deb: When it is a recreational vehicle or a bicycle. The
excitement of covering a loved one’s eyes and removing
them to show them such an item needs no wrapping.
However, giant bows can be made by your local gift basket
designer. Just ask them.
Dana: Don’t wrap gifts if you’re bringing them on an
airplane. You don’t want to get stopped and have to unwrap your beautiful creation. If
you have to bring gifts on a plane, buy the wrapping supplies when you arrive at your
                                            destination and make an evening of wrapping
                                            them up.
                                           Cynthia: If the gift will be discounted by
                                           ―bad wrapping‖ don’t do it—the wrapping
                                           should enhance the gift, not degrade it. I had
                                           a request to wrap a cactus plant for a new
                                           homeowner. After trying for a half an hour, I
                                           found that it simply wouldn’t work and I had
                                           the wounds to prove it! Instead, I wrapped
                                           western bandana on the plant, added a kid’s
                                           cowboy hat and it looked great!

Q: What are the most common mistakes people make when they wrap gifts?

Dana: Many people don’t reinforce their folds. It is very important to make a strong
fold so that it won’t look puffy. Also, a lot of people use way too much paper. You
don’t want to create a cocoon or leave the ends too long. Long ends make for unclean
folds…the sign of a true amateur.

Mira: Remove the price tag! Then, make sure there is the same amount of paper left on
both sides. To ensure this trim away any extra paper so that the remaining flaps are long
enough to cover the box but short enough to fold into smooth equal sized flaps.

Liz: We often will use too much tape which makes opening your gift a lot like trying to
get into those hard plastic packages we get our electronics in.

Laura: Measuring the box, or lack thereof.
We have all heard the saying, ―measure
twice, cut once‖. Another mistake is to
wrap the item in the original packaging.
Try to find a box to put the package in. It
will look so much better, and it will be
much easier to wrap.

Cynthia: The biggest mistake is that
people rarely have the right vision. Look
at things that would work for the gift and
match it all up before you go home. Find a small item that can be added to finish the
theme. For instance I bought a friend some gifts for their new puppy this Christmas and
wanted to be clever for these dear friends. I began with a food bowl that would be the
vessel, added in a stuffed toy and some chew bones. I wrapped the entire unit in puppy
paw tissue and made a bow from a new leash.

Deb: Failing to ensure that the contents are secure—especially in the case of homemade
gifts and gift baskets. If the items are not securely wrapped, the items could spill out all
over the place, possibly breaking the items and ruining the presentation.

Q. How can we make our gift wrapping look more professional?

Deb: For boxes, cut just enough paper off the roll and use transparent tape instead of
clear, shiny (cellophane) tape. For gift baskets, cleanly roll or fold each side of the
cellophane bag, tuck the tails under and secure with tape.

                               Cynthia: It’s important to have the right tools: a flat
                               surface, good scissors, the right
                               tape and a glue gun. Make your
                               cutting smooth, and when you
fold wrapping paper make a defined crease; that way the
paper will be flatter when you have to tape. Use a tape
dispenser to give you the free hand. I use a ruler to flatten a
fold and the box will wrap better. Take the time to evaluate
the size of the item and cut the paper to fit.

Dana: Measure the amount of paper that you’ll need. I roll the gift over the paper
length wise and height wise in order to get my dimensions down. Adding some fabric
ribbon always makes for a good show too. That’s a trick all professionals use to make
their gifts look extra-special. It’s simple but makes a big impact. Good paper shows
too. The cheap stuff turns white as soon as you start folding and rips too easily. If you
want a stellar gift wrap job you should definitely upgrade your paper.

Laura: Use double-sided tape. No matter what the
tape package says, it is not invisible tape. You can
always see the tape if it is on the outside. When
wrapping the box, lay your paper flat and center the
box. Make a neat fold of about ½‖ on the other side
of the paper before folding it over to cover the other
side of the box. Secure with tape. This will create a
clean and straight edge. After you have wrapped the
box, take a moment to run your fingers along all the
edges of the box to better define them and make the
box look clean and crisp.

Q. What are some low-cost ideas for wrapping gifts with things we might already have
around the house?

                                         Liz: This is always fun. Paper bags are a favorite
                                        of mine, especially when you use raffia or string,
                                        making it easy to attach adornments. We all have
                                        old shirts with nice patterns on them that can be
                                        used in place of paper. I've taken old jeans and
                                        cut strips up the legs and used them instead of
                                        ribbon. If I'm wrapping a gift for a man, I'll take a
                                        roll of duct tape, pull off longs pieces and fold
                                        them in half so it sticks together and use it like
                                        ribbon. It's also fun to then use the duct tape on
the ends, edges, or randomly as décor. I then will thread nuts or washers on the tape
every few inches to add interest. Old pillowcases can be filled and tied with cord or
ribbon on the end, leaving a fluted look. Boxes can be painted, stenciled or stickered,
giving them new life.

Mira: My favorite thing is to wrap with newspaper
and use pieces that have meaning within the paper.

Karen: Have your children draw a pretty picture on
a shopping bag and use the artwork as gift wrap.
Items around the house or outside can be used as gift
toppers, like a beautiful leaf and some twigs held
together with simple twine, or a stick of cinnamon
tied to the top of a package. Some mistletoe or a
fresh flower on top is lovely, if your gift will be
given immediately.
Laura: Scarves are great for wrapping a rectangular box. Scarves are also great for
wrapping a wine bottle! For a child’s gift, I have used Zoo Pals plates as part of the
                                      wrap. Dress up a gift with nature. Use pine cones,
                                      twigs, flowers (if giving the gift the same day), or
                                      leaves. A baby gift can be wrapped in white tissue
                                      paper. Add a thin satin ribbon with small cotton
                                      puffs glued on for a soft, sweet look.

                                         Dana: One of my favorites is using parchment
                                         paper or waxed paper, which works especially
                                         well if the package itself is colorful and can shine
                                         through just a little.
Kitchen twine makes a beautiful ribbon option, too.
Learning to tie a few different ribbons for gift wrapping
will earn you star status in no time. There are loads of
instructional videos on the Internet to help you on your
way, and best of all, they’re free! (Editor’s Note: Look for
links to several instructional videos later in the e-guide!)

Cynthia: Baskets, bowls and boxes are always wonderful
to use. One large box I needed to wrap was challenging and did not look good with
wrap. Instead, I cut out images from old Christmas cards and pasted on the box with hot
glue. I made a bow that complemented the many colors featured on the box.

A flower pot can be a wonderful beginning for a gift. Add in the gift, a pack of flower
seeds for the gardener, and it’s a gift they’ll love and find entirely useful. Wrap it up with
paper from a catalogue from a flower or bulb distributor. Even a storage box from your
pantry can work to contain a gift. For a new home owner, I used storage boxes filled
with hard-to-find items when you move: A can opener, tissue paper, nails, tape, scissors,
a screwdriver, picture hangers and bottled water. I placed these items in matching boxes
(plastic) on top of each other and the boxes can be used again later. This gift was
wrapped only in thick ribbon to hold the boxes together.

                                     Deb: Aluminum foil isn’t just for cooking or getting
                                     good television reception. Due to the shaping
                                     capabilities, use it to gently wrap just about anything.
                                     No tape required. Remember when we were kids and
                                     we used brown paper bags to make book covers?
                                     Recycle those brown paper bags as wrapping paper.
                                     Use a shoestring for the bow.

Q. How can we make our wrapped gift stand out from all the others on a gift table?
Dana: This is where hand-made elements really
show their stuff! Hand-make your own gift tags,
affix a homemade ornament to the bow or
create a stencil that you print onto your gift

Liz: By tailoring your wrapping to the recipient’s
interests. Perhaps, if its a woman who likes to
sew, use a colorful piece of fabric to wrap and
attach with safety pins, then use lace in place of
ribbon, or a soft measuring tape. I like to use
tulle, because it comes in a variety of colors, is
easy to work with, and gives a fluffy presence. I
also add some dimensional adornments, like
small toys, jewelry or trinkets.

Laura: Know your recipient. If you know
something special about your recipient, you can
incorporate that into your gift. I created a gift
for a friend that loves the beach. I used sticky
spray and covered the gift in sand. I added a little fishnet, sea shells, and a drink
umbrella for a lovely beach scene. A word of caution though: make sure you use enough
spray and really shake off the excess sand. You don’t want to leave sand all over the gift

Another gift I recently did is a baby gift for a friend who loves nature and is very
―organic‖. For this gift I used handmade paper to wrap the gift. I clipped some twigs
from my Japanese maple tree to create two trees on the gift. I added a thin string to
create a clothes line and hung the booties. The booties match the outfit inside the gift. I
cut out some flowers and glued them to the tree. Then, I added a small bird’s nest to
finish off the look of spring.

Karen: You can create your own ―signature wrap‖ that people will come to recognize.
Find a unique material or gift topper that is unique to you
and that you ALWAYS use.
Cynthia: My gifts stand out because they are often bold. I
visit my local craft store and purchase some amazing ―piks‖
(a small enhancement like gold leaves and holly on a small
stick available at all craft stores) for $.50 each. I often use
metallic paper, add a bow and use matching, meaningful
piks. It sounds a bit off, but experiment and see if you can
make it work. Piks can be attached to bows to enlarge the
look and add a little magic with glitter and holiday floral enhancements. Also, silver,
white and gold together can be magnificent as is black and silver depending on the
Q. Let’s talk a little about gift ties! What ties work best with various types of wrap?

Deb: Velvet, satin and organza can be used with softer textures like tulle, lace or chiffon.
Patterned grosgrain ribbon is fun to use for kids’ gifts with tissue-paper wrapping or
other printed papers like polka dots and stripes. Use raffia for fiesta, country home or
Western looks. Use a checkered tablecloth for medium to large items or a bandana to
                                          wrap small items. Wired ribbon is great to use
                                          on gift baskets. The wire allows the shape to
                                          stand up and gives a nice presentation.

                                            Liz: Personally I mix and match. I look mostly
                                             at the colors and textures of the paper or
                                             materials. I enjoy using craft, or handmade
                                             papers with raffia. I tend to wrap by the feeling
                                             a color or pattern gives me, and if it lends itself
to be elegant or playful. I have a huge stock of ribbons, papers and materials I work
with, so I often decide the feeling I want the wrapping to convey, then pick the paper or
material that best reflects that. I then lay a variety of ribbons on top of it until I find the
right match.

Mira: I like to use satin ribbon with homemade gift bags and
silk ribbon with wrapping paper, whether it’s a dressed-up
newspaper or a designer gift wrap. I love to use organza for
gifts that are for my girlfriends!

                                Laura: This is really a personal choice. I tend to use satin
                                and organza on wedding gifts. It gives a more elegant
                                look. Almost all of my grosgrain ribbon is floral, so I
                                would use that for housewarming, hostess gifts, anything
                                spring-oriented. Velvet I use exclusively for Valentine’s
                                Day and Christmas wraps. Wired ribbon is excellent for
                                making bows– especially big bows. I don’t use a lot of
                                raffia myself, but when I do, it is mostly for gifts that focus
                                on a more organic look.
Cynthia: I use all of the gift wrapping and material ribbons depending on what works
best. I first decide on the container or box, wrapping paper and then decide on the tie.
Organza, for instance, is great if the item is
elegant, like wrapping wedding goblets in white
organza and placing in a champagne bucket.
Satin should be reserved for wedding,
Valentine’s and occasionally the anniversary.
Keep in mind that satin can be difficult to work
with and often unforgiving. Raffia should be
used in ample amount when tying a bow; it is a
casual wrap and works well for western themes,
or to wrap a wooden box and for men’s gifts.
Wired ribbon is great to make an impressive
bow since it can be molded to look just right. Basic ribbon for a special bow is best made
from a roll of #9 satin ribbon. Use enough so your bow doesn’t look sparse. I personally
don’t like working with tulle or craft netting as I have a true inability to create something
that looks civilized from that material.

Dana: I think that the fun of gift-wrapping is getting creative and trying different
combinations of ribbons, ties and wrap. This is your chance to do something different
that will get your gift noticed. The most important thing to consider is the color scheme
you’re going for with each gift.

Q. Any tips on tying ribbon around a box?

                                           Laura: So happy you asked this question!
                                         Guess what! You do not have to tie a ribbon
                                         around the center of the box with a bow in the
                                         middle! If you have a rectangle-shaped box, try
                                         wrapping the ribbon about 1/3 of the way in
                                         from the long edge, cross it on the back of the
                                         box, and wrap it about 1/3 of the way down
                                         from the top edge of the box. Rather than
                                         adding a bow, add a jeweled embellishment, or
                                         a few fresh flowers with a small bow around
                                         the stems. If you don’t want to use a standard
ribbon, you can make pleated folds in a complementary paper and use that as a ribbon

Dana: You have two basic options: the single loop and the
double-cross. The single loop is easy to do, because you start
with the ribbon under the gift and pull the two ends to meet
on top. Tying the knot may require assistance, because the
double-knot is essential to the gift staying wrapped. First, you
tie a single knot as tight as you can without squeezing the
package. Then you have someone hold their finger on the center of the knot to keep it
tight while you tie a second knot to hold it in place. Then you tie your bow.

The double-cross (I call it) starts on the front of the package. Then you cross the ribbons
underneath and pull the ends up over the box to meet perpendicular with the line you
created on the front with the first pass. Then, tie the knot the same way as described
above. Simple!

                                        Liz: One of the reasons I invented the Fobbie
                                        was due to the fact that it can be a challenge to
                                        get ribbon wrapped around your gift, I wanted
                                        to eliminate that hassle. Tying that knot in the
                                        center without the aid of someone else's finger is
                                        tough! My slot system works kind of like a
                                        buckle, threading your ribbon up through the
                                        inner slot and then back down through the outer
                                        and cinching down locks the ribbons in place
                                        without the need for tying any knots. You can
                                        use a variety of ribbons and sizes and even thread
accent ribbons in for extra flair. (Editor’s Note: More on the Fobbie later!)

Karen: Ahhh...there are many secrets here, but my favorite
is the way a friend of mine, who worked at Tiffany's in
NYC, showed me how they do their famous box wrap—
with a FLAT bottom (no nasty knot on the bottom of the
package that makes a package wobble when placed on a flat
surface). Here's how:

Start with a precut piece of ribbon long enough to go
around the package twice with extra for the bow. Stretch
the ribbon across the top of the package leaving a 4" or 5"
tail. Hold firmly while bringing the ribbon around the bottom of the box back toward
the top. Criss-cross with the tail, and do the same on the other side of the box. The
bottom will be flat. Tie a bow using two loops that criss-cross. (See step-by-step photos
and instructions in the chapter Gift-Wrap How-To Photos and Videos!)

Q. How about some creative, crafty gift-wrapping ideas for Christmas and birthday

                         Deb: Use leftover fabric remnants tied with ribbon. Mylar sheets
                         are fun to use for children’s birthday presents. The shiny colors
                         draw attention. Don’t have a use for all those buttons? Use them
                         to decorate ribbon or wrapping.
Liz: You can really dress up your gifts by
attaching ornaments, candy canes, cinnamon
sticks, pine cones or holly. I like using strings of

Laura: Light up your gift! Buy a battery-
operated strand of tree lights (usually 10 lights
to a strand). Poke holes in the top of the
wrapped box and feed the lights through.
Adhere the battery box to the inside lid of the
gift and turn on.

Create a birthday gift by incorporating other
gifts into the wrap. To wrap a water table for
a child, I used navy paper, string, and eye
clasps to give a nautical look. I affixed sea
shells, grasses (to look like seaweed), and a ―life’s a beach‖ sign.

Take a few minutes to make a paper airplane. Attach a clothes pin to the bottom of the
plane so the plane is at an angle (like it is going to take off); then glue the clothes pin to
the top of the gift. Add a small button on each side of the base of the clothes pin for the
planes wheels and you have a great child’s gift!

                                                       Cynthia: I love the idea of a special
                                                       vessel and customized wrapping. If you
                                                       find some wonderful kraft paper with a
                                                       holly design in tan, red and green,
                                                       choose a beautiful red ribbon, a
                                                       matching box and insert some holly
                                                       from the artificial flower department of
                                                       your local craft store to carry through
                                                       the theme. For a vessel, find something
                                                       that works. A teddy bear can be holding
                                                       a box of Godiva chocolates. Just wrap it
                                                       in cellophane with a bow on top.

                                                   For a birthday present, you can do so
                                                   many things simply by visiting your local
party store. For a present I recently did, I found a plastic popcorn bowl, added in some
microwave popcorn packets, some free movie rentals, and junior mints. I made a bow in
the color of the bright red bowl and with some party noise makers hanging from the
bow, giving a festive look. Also on the tails of the bow was a wearable button that said
―birthday girl‖.
Mira: Do something fun and break some of the
rules while keeping the magic of this time of the
year. Add some costume jewelry, bells, tassels,
flowers or buy some paper and paint some designs
on it.

Dana: I recently saw gift wrap made from sewn-
together vintage handkerchiefs. It was so amazing,
but you have to be quick with a needle and thread.
There’s also the fun Japanese style of gift wrapping
with fabric called Furoshiki. It’s very cool and a
really easy way to wrap a gift with a piece of fabric
that doesn’t use any tape, glue or thread. (Editor’s
Note: Be sure to check out the Furoshiki how-to
video in the Gift Wrap How-To Photos and Videos chapter!)The great thing about
wrapping with fabric is that you can use it again, whether it’s as a gift wrap or converted
into a throw pillow, shopping tote or other crafts.

Q. Finally, do you have any other suggestions we haven’t touched on in our questions?

                                            Cynthia: To make it affordable, be on the
                                          lookout for ―deals‖ all year. For instance, Bass
                                          Pro Shops has some fishing Christmas paper,
                                          but it has no actual Christmas markings on it,
                                          making it suitable for any time of the year.
                                          Check clearance areas for fun items, ribbons
                                          and novelties that can personalize a gift.
                                          Check different stores like the Container Store
                                          for a variety of unique containers perfect for
                                          wrapping, and watch for tins at the dollar
                                          store that can be stacked or used
                                          independently as a ―box‖. When you do find
                                          deals, store them in plastic storage drawers
                                          and boxes so that you’ll have them at a
                                          moment’s notice. You’ll be able to do much
                                          more if you can buy inexpensively. Last
                                          Christmas I bought 20 boxes of mints
                                          individually wrapped in an elegant box with
                                          green and red mints. I took all of the red ones
                                          out and did the same with the green, making
boxes of only one color mint. At Valentine’s, I used the red mints as a base for a gift that
was wrapped in heart cellophane, and did the same for my Irish friends on St. Pat’s day.
Shop with a creative eye and see what you might possibly do with a few bargain items!
Laura: If you are a parent, you know the hassles associated with a child opening a
present and having to wait while you release it from the jaws of the industrial plastic
packaging, assemble it and add batteries. I
strongly suggest assembling the toy first. Find
a box that will accommodate the toy already
assembled, then wrap. Your child will be able
to enjoy the toy immediately, and you can sit
back and relax while he or she plays, plays,

Deb: Have fun. Use your imagination. Take
a short bow-making class at your local gift-
basket company for that professional touch.
Gift-wrapping and bow-making do not need
to be expensive or time consuming.

                                     Bonus Tips
It’s no surprise we received some super suggestions for gift wrapping from our friends
who, while not necessarily gift-wrap gurus, are so incredibly crafty, they simply see gift-
wrapping as another opportunity to be ultra-creative. So here we go!

                                          OneCheapB*’s Jeanine Boiko offers
                                          three uncommonly cool gift-wrap ideas! Vintage
                                          sheet music—the older and more yellow, the
                                          better. Use it as you would wrapping paper,
                                          and it creates a beautiful package, no matter
                                          what's inside.

                                         Coffee-stained gift tags—these are my specialty.
                                         I purchase hang tags from Staples or any office
                                         supply store, dip them in a coffee/water/vanilla
                                         extract mixture and then bake them for about 5
                                         minutes. Let them air-dry overnight. Then you
can stamp an image on them and add tea-stained seam binding, German glitter glass or
what-have-you for a really unique gift tag.

Michelle Brown of Mixed Media Art, shows us how to
make a cute gift box for holding gifts of earrings, a necklace
or whatever you choose to give. You can make the box the
size you need for the gift. Click here to see how it’s done!
                     Here’s an incredible idea compliments of Betsy Alandt, who suggests
                     recycling an empty Pringle’s can! She says most holiday cookies fit
                     into a Pringle’s container, making it a great way to gift or ship them
                     to loved ones across the country. Embellish the can with jewels,
                     garland or wrap it in a meaningful photo to use as a gift box—it’s a
                     great kid's arts and craft project.

                    Our final ―Bonus Tip‖ is from Barbara Kilikevich of
                    A Mindful Christmas, who reminds us to keep
Christmas as green as possible: All of my gifts are being given in canvas
totes this year. I have red ones from Trader Joe's so it looks more festive
that way. I tie the handles shut and wrap natural raffia around the
handles and make a bow. It is perfect for consumables and the person
receiving the gift gets the bonus of the canvas tote for shopping without
using plastic bags from the stores!

                       Gift-Wrapping Emporium
Eye-catching! Easy to use! Eco-friendly! You’ll find lots of wonderful, new ideas and
items for gorgeous gifting in our Gift-Wrapping Emporium!

                              Kari Brownsberger recommends using
                              stamps from Expressionary on brown
                              paper bags to create great gift-wrap
                              looks like the one in the photo at the
                              left, and Caley Concannon points us
                              to the Dolan Geiman site for more
                              eco-friendly gift-presentation ideas
                              like the one in the photo at the right.

                            If you love the idea of using reusable fabric for Furoshiki, the
                            Japanese gift-wrap art form, Viola Sutanto has what you need
                            in her colorful line of Give Wraps™, and her Web site,
                            Chewing the Cud, gives you photo tutorials on how to use

We’re always delighted at the number of eco-friendly ideas we get
from folks around the country. Reena Kazmann, the director of Eco-
Artware, offers eco-friendly gifts to wrap in earth-friendly ways, and
she sent us help with links to two sites: the first one, Earth Presents,
belongs to her friend who produces gift wrap using kids’ designs on
recycled paper and provides recycled/recyclable wrapping ribbon.
                    The second, Wrap Art, the brainchild of ―wrap artist‖ John Boak,
                    shows you how to wrap presents creatively, using fragments of
                    paper and miscellaneous items from around your house, like egg
                    crates and popsicle sticks. It’s pretty cool!

                        Susan Doherty, the producer and host
of Six Minute Style, gives us two more fun, offbeat and
green gift-wrapping ideas. She says Holiday Storage Tins
from Napa Style are wonderful for food items, handmade
gifts or even smaller items such as gloves, note cards, even
jewelry. In addition to being memorable, they’re reusable
and cut down on wrapping paper and other waste. And
for a ―gift times two,‖ she suggests a unique way to
deliver a gift certificate (spa, restaurant, etc) is to place it
inside a gorgeous vase or pitcher. How fun to receive the
gorgeous Edward Wine Decanter from Williams-Sonoma with a generous spa gift
certificate inside (and an accompanying note suggesting a glass of wine following a day
of spa relaxation). Add a big red or gold ribbon and you are set to go!

                           Here’s a gift idea and a gift-wrap in one! It comes to us from
                           ECOlunchboxes, a reusable lunchware company. Their
                           ECOnapkins are made from beautiful hand-block-printed
                           cotton and are rectangle to be used as a napkin or a
                           placemat. They also wrap perfectly around the company’s
                           stainless-steel ECOlunchboxes to create an eco and practical
                           green gift! Click here to see a short video of the wrap and
                           the lunchboxes: Reusable lunchware is a great green gift,
                           especially for that person who packs a lunch every day!

The Bowdabra is an inexpensive ―goof-proof‖ bow-
maker that makes a wide range of professional-looking
medium and large bows. The process begins by inserting
a piece of ribbon wire into the Bowdabra. Then, material
is either scrunched or folded on top of the wire to
achieve the bow size and fullness desired. Once the
material is in, the Bowdabra Wand is used to compact
the material onto the ribbon wire. The wire is then tied,
and the bow can be removed from the Bowdabra. Once
removed, the bow can be fluffed, arranged, and retied to
the maker’s liking.
                          For socially conscious recycled gift wrap without sacrificing
                          style, check out the new line of Recycled Gift Wrapping Paper
                          from Green Field Paper Company. The paper is printed using
                          soy-based inks rather than conventional petroleum-based inks.
                          Each oversized sheet measures 24" x 36" and is printed on 70#
                          100% recycled paper that has a smooth satin finish and is
                          made in the U.S.A.

At Gift Card Girlfriend, it’s all about presenting gift
cards in a way that makes them more personal. But
rather than focus on the bows and the bags, Gift
Card Girlfriend shows you how to turn any gift card
into a thoughtful gift by adding a personal
sentiment—sometimes just the right words is all it
takes, and there are hundreds of ideas on the site.
For example, giving a gift card to the cooking store?
Bundle it with a secret family recipe or three busy-
day meals your kids never complain about. A gift
card to the bookstore? Deliver it with homemade
bookmarks from the kids or a list of the ten best books you've ever read. A gift card to
the movies? Add a note that reads, "Hope this is the only drama you see this holiday

                             Here are some spiffy gift tags sure to lift your spirits! TagIt!
                             Wine Tags are unique gift tags especially designed for wine
                             bottles. Next time you need to bring a gift, just pick up a
                             bottle of wine, add an original TagIt! Wine Tag, and you’re
                             all set with the perfect, thoughtful gift.

For a fashionable way to present your gift of wine, slip the bottle
into some Wine Bottle Wear. Simply place WINE BOTTLE WEAR
over the neck of the bottle to make it perfectly outfitted for
making someone happy!

                         How about some uniquely designed stickers for everyday gifts?
                         Paper Fancy offers a super-fun selection of stickers that can turn
                         even the plainest wrapping paper into something spectacular!
We all knew it would happen someday! WrapItApp—a new gift
wrapping application for iPhones and iPod Touches provides
measuring and wrapping tips for people on the go. The application
was developed by two Michigan based businesses, Lisa’s Gift Wrappers
and Vectorform. It is available for download at the iTunes store for
                                    $1.99. The innovative application
                                    utilizes the iPhone or Touch as a
                                    measuring device to ensure you are
                                    using the correct amount of
                                    wrapping paper. It provides simple
                                    step-by-step instructions 24/7 on
                                    how to make a one and three loop
                                    bow and familiarizes the user with
                                    standard box sizes and paper needs.

A great gift wrapping idea for men (or women who don't love
to wrap) is JAM Paper foil envelopes. Men can pop in a gift,
use the peel and seal closure, and have a great looking
present. Jam Paper also has hundreds of different colors and
patterns of wrapping paper, and they have jumbo 13” bows
in a variety of colors.

                        Got the paper but looking for a cool ribbon presentation.
                        "Wrapper's Delight' has two fun options! One is a great teal color
                        that can be used on holiday gifts. Both the ribbon and bows are
                        imprinted with, "I have the receipt!" The other is for birthdays, in
                        bold red with an imprint that reads, "You're Old." Both colors
                        look great on basic brown paper wrap, so it saves you money.

You’ve already ―met‖ the inventor, Liz Mrofka—now meet the Fobbie! The Fobbie is a
durable, decorative gift wrap tag that is illustrated with a
graphic or greeting and a patented parallel slot system. You
cut two pieces of ribbon, thread them through the slots, pull
the ends to cinch to your gift and trim, giving you a
beautifully wrapped gift.

The Fobbie is perfect for wrapping those odd shaped items,
or ones that are beautiful just the way they are like a teddy
bear, a stack of towels, or a candle. Fobbies are reusable, and recyclable. You can use
ribbons, fabric or a variety of materials, anything that can fit through the slots is game!
No tape is needed and you can save money by not having to use wrapping paper.
MiniCards by MOO are personalized, unique gift tags half the size of a standard business
                               card. MOO is an online printing company that
                               employs Printfinity™ technology, which lets users
                               upload their own images and print a different image
                               on each card. For people who aren't the best gift-
                               wrappers, the MiniCard is a simple touch that will help
                               take the attention away from some slightly unmatched
                               corners and uneven lines.

Make Christmas special for family and friends just by mailing their
gift in this clever box! It’s a bright-red stocking box you can
personalize with a name. Gifts sent in Tony's Stocking from
ShipShapeUSA bring joy to grandchildren, grandparents, students—
anyone far from home! The stocking-shaped box delivers smiles
directly to mailboxes and front doors. No wrapping, no fuss—just
stuff it and ship it!

                   Here’s a great alternative to the unrecyclable
                   nylon/plastic bow. Origami Bonsai Instant Flowers—the first
                   mass-produced, pre-folded Origami shape that opens instantly to
                   reveal a beautiful flower! The site has videos that show you how
                   to fold their many varieties of flowers, and the flowers really pop
                   on top of a gift!

                    All in the Cards has a full line of
chic and affordable gift bags, greeting cards and paper
products (to name a few!) The cards are hand-
decorated with everything from shoes, to mulberry
flowers, to baby rattles, and of course, lots of glitter!
The supplemental line includes tissue wrap, ribbon,
handmade gift bags, note cards, gift wrap, and
keepsake gift boxes that match the cards, allowing you
to create one-of-a-kind gift experiences loved ones are
sure to remember. The entire line is available in both everyday and seasonal designs.

                                With Gift Box Studio, you get everything you need to
                                make the package as special as the gift inside, including
                                24 pages of pre-perforated, pop-out gift boxes, cards,
                                tags and embellishments; 13 ready-to-use boxes; 19 gift
                                cards, tags and envelopes; more than 100 clever
                                embellishments, all based on fabric by top designer
                                Jennifer Sampou.
                        The Card: Inside or Out?
Whether you place your card inside the box or on the gift-wrapping is totally up to you.
                        As a general rule, your card has less chance of getting lost
                        before the gift is opened if you put it inside the gift. If you
                        want to put the card on the gift wrap, slide it under the
                        ribbon and secure it with tape on the underside. Use the loose
                        ends of the ribbon to secure a gift tag (with a hole in it) or
                        tape it directly to the box (unless it already has adhesive on it.)

          Gift Wrapping How-To Photos andVideos
Tying Ribbon Tiffany’s-Style

Gift-wrap expert Karen Helburn of Just Hatched! shows us how to tie a ribbon and bow
with a bump-free bottom:

Step 1: Place ribbon across top of box
leaving a 'tail'.
Step 2: Keeping tail stationary, wrap
remaining ribbon around the bottom
of box and back towards the top.

Step 3: Twist ribbon on top.

Step 4 and 5: Still keeping tail
stationary, wrap remaining ribbon
around box again, bringing ribbon back
towards top again.
Almost finished!

Step 6: Still keeping tail stationary,
remaining ribbon goes under twist
on top.

Step 7: Tie Bow.
Step 8: See flat bottom—no
wobbling package!


Wrapping a Basic Box

Furoshiki Gift Wrapping

How To Use Ribbons

How To Use Curling Ribbon

How To Make Big Bows

How To Wrap a Gift Basket with Cellophane
                    Wrapped Gifts That Give Back
Great giving ideas are launched every day, and we’re thrilled to let you know about this
new one! It’s called ―You’ve Been Gifted,‖ a surprise gift-giving game that’s 100% kid-
oriented. The program inspires children to ―pay it forward‖ in heartwarming ways.
Here’s how easy it is:

1. Simply prepare a small present containing a treat
   or gift
2. Attach a new Gifted sheet (which includes a poster
   and a poem) to each present
3. Leave the present at a door that does not have the
   'You've Been Gifted' poster displayed. Ring the
   door bell and run away!!

According to program organizer Christian Sees, ―Children really enjoy the surprise of
getting a gift, and most try to not be seen when delivering the present. Some feel more
comfortable calling ahead to a responsible adult to let them know they will be leaving a
surprise. Either way, both the giver and receiver really enjoy being Gifted.‖

                            We’d like to wrap up this e-guide with one of the best tips of
                            all. You can make lots of people happy—and healthy—every
                            time you wrap a gift simply by purchasing and using
                            American Cancer Society (ACS) wrapping paper. The wrap
                            showcases exclusive designs by some of the most recognized
                            artists of our time, including Eric Carle (The Very Hungry
                            Caterpillar), Masha D’Yans, Kari Modén, Andy Gilmore and
                            others, whose designs have been inspired by the ACS, also
                            known as the Official Sponsor of Birthdays.

                             As you can see, the designs
                             are incredible and perfect for
                             any occasion because the
wrapping paper is a gift itself—a precious gift to the
giver, the recipient and to every one of us! The donated
artwork has also been turned into e-cards, posters and
limited-edition prints, with 100% of all proceeds going
directly to the Society. We hope all of you will go to
More Birthdays and give the gift of a lifetime.
         With all my love I chose the gift
            And put the card inside.
           I covered it with gift wrap,
          And then, the bow was tied.
                I used my creativity
              To wrap the gift in style.
           I gave the gift and, in return,
             Was given a bright smile.
That smile? It came straight from the heart.
         Of that, I have no doubt.
      Right then, I knew my little gift
        Was loved inside and out!

        That’s a Wrap!
                       . If any of the images are copyrighted, and you are the owner of the picture,
                       please do not hesitate to contact us. They will be removed or credited, if you
                       so desire.

Editor’s Note: All pictures have been gathered from various
sources around the Internet, including Google images.
Some were submitted by their original photographers. If
any of the images are copyrighted, and you are the owner
of the picture, please do not hesitate to contact us. They
will be removed or credited, if you so desire.

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